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Publishing on Kindle: Guidelines for Publishers

Table of Contents
PART I. GETTING STARTED .................................................................... 8

1 Introduction ............................................................................................................ 8

2 Paths to Getting Your Content on Kindle ....................................................................... 8


2.1 Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing Platform ................................................................... 8
2.1.1 Kindle Create .................................................................................................. 8
2.2 Creating Kindle Books In-House Using Kindle Publisher Tools ............................................ 9
2.2.1 KindleGen ...................................................................................................... 9
2.2.2 Kindle Previewer .............................................................................................. 9
2.2.3 Kindle Comic Creator ......................................................................................... 9
2.2.4 Kindle Kids' Book Creator ................................................................................. 10
2.3 Third-Party Conversion Services .............................................................................. 10

3 Comparing Formats ................................................................................................ 10

PART II. GENERAL BEST PRACTICES ..................................................... 14

4 Cover Image Guidelines........................................................................................... 14


4.1 Marketing Cover Image Is Mandatory ........................................................................ 14
4.2 Internal Content Cover Image Is Mandatory ................................................................. 14

5 Navigation Guidelines ............................................................................................. 15


5.1 HTML TOC Guidelines .......................................................................................... 15
5.1.1 Using a Nested HTML TOC ............................................................................... 16
5.2 NCX Guidelines .................................................................................................. 16
5.2.1 Creating a Logical TOC Using a toc nav Element .................................................. 17
5.2.2 Creating a Logical TOC Using NCX ..................................................................... 18
5.3 Guide Items ....................................................................................................... 19
5.3.1 Defining Cover and TOC ................................................................................... 19

6 HTML and CSS Guidelines ....................................................................................... 20


6.1 Constructing Well-Formed HTML Documents (XHTML) ................................................... 20
6.2 Avoid Using Negative Values .................................................................................. 20
6.3 Avoid Using Scripting ............................................................................................ 20
6.4 Avoid Nested <p> Tags ......................................................................................... 20
6.5 File References Must Match Case and Spelling of Source ................................................ 20
6.6 Other Encodings Are Supported ............................................................................... 20
6.7 Use Supported Characters and Spaces ...................................................................... 21
6.8 Design for a Good eBook Experience ........................................................................ 21

7 Hyperlink Guidelines ............................................................................................... 21


7.1 Internal Link Guidelines ......................................................................................... 21
7.2 External Link Guidelines ........................................................................................ 22

Kindle Publishing Guidelines Amazon.com 3


Publishing on Kindle: Guidelines for Publishers

8 QA Standards ........................................................................................................ 22
8.1 Testing Kindle Books ............................................................................................ 23

PART III. GUIDELINES FOR SPECIFIC TYPES OF EBOOKS .......................... 25

9 Creating Text-Heavy Fiction and Non-Fiction eBooks (Reflowable) ................................... 25


9.1 Metadata Guidelines ............................................................................................. 25
9.2 Layout Guidelines ................................................................................................ 25
9.3 Text Guidelines ................................................................................................... 25
9.3.1 Specify Heading Alignment and Justification ........................................................... 25
9.3.2 Body Text Must Use Defaults ............................................................................. 26
9.3.3 Formatting Paragraphs ..................................................................................... 27
9.3.4 Avoid Using Fixed Values for Most Elements .......................................................... 27
9.3.5 Margin and Padding Formatting .......................................................................... 27
9.3.6 Drop Caps .................................................................................................... 27
9.3.7 Use CSS for Page Breaks ................................................................................. 29
9.3.8 Using Embedded Fonts .................................................................................... 29
9.3.9 Customizing Font Selection ............................................................................... 29
9.3.10 Page Number Guidelines ................................................................................ 31
9.3.11 Enabling Real Page Numbers ........................................................................... 31
9.3.12 Footnote Guidelines ....................................................................................... 32
9.4 Image Guidelines ................................................................................................ 33
9.4.1 Use Supported Input Formats ............................................................................. 33
9.4.2 Image Size and Quality Standards ....................................................................... 33
9.4.3 Image Dimensions for Responsive Layouts ............................................................ 34
9.4.4 Use Color Images ........................................................................................... 34
9.4.5 Photographs Should Be Optimized for High-Resolution Devices ................................... 34
9.4.6 Use GIF or PNG for Line-Art and Text................................................................... 35
9.4.7 Image and Font Size Requirements for Line-Art and Text ........................................... 35
9.4.8 Prefer HTML to Images .................................................................................... 35
9.4.9 Positioning Image Captions ............................................................................... 36
9.4.10 Controlling Image Aspect Ratio ......................................................................... 36
9.4.11 Use Supported SVG Tags and Elements .............................................................. 36
9.5 Table Guidelines ................................................................................................. 37
9.5.1 Avoid Large Tables ......................................................................................... 37
9.5.2 Create Simple HTML Tables .............................................................................. 38
9.5.3 Split Tables as Needed .................................................................................... 38
9.5.4 Table Features with Enhanced Typesetting ............................................................ 38
9.6 MathML Support .................................................................................................. 40

10 Creating Fixed-Layout Books with Text Pop-Ups ......................................................... 41


10.1 Metadata Guidelines ........................................................................................... 41
10.2 Cover Image Guidelines: Including Back Cover for Children's Content ............................... 43
10.3 Text Guidelines: Including Specific Fonts .................................................................. 43
10.4 Content Requirements ......................................................................................... 43
10.4.1 Requirement #1: Using HTML File Structure ......................................................... 43
10.4.2 Requirement #2: Using Region Magnification (Pop-Ups) ........................................... 44
10.5 HTML and CSS Guidelines ................................................................................... 45

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